Spring Break has begun and the great and enduring National Boards saga is complete, at least until I have to take the test in May.
Chris and I finished packing our portfolios Tuesday at 10:30pm, about six and a half hours after we started (label, number, label, number, label, number, ad nauseum) just in time to meet the deadline of postmarking the boxes on Wednesday, the 31st. There was a staff member at our school who didn’t finish her box until ten minutes to five on Wednesday, necessitating what must have been a mad dash to the Post Office.
In college (ok, ok, in high school too) I was a really bad procrastinator. By my senior year at SB, I knew it took me about an hour a page to write a decent paper so, if I had a seven page paper due for my 10:00am class, I would prep the evening before and then wake up at 2:30 or 3:00am to write. Although I don’t consider myself a morning person (and nor does my first period), I seemed to write best in the morning under a deadline. I knew that this was a toxic and potentially disasterous habit, but (but BUT) it always seemed to work for me. I mean, I was writing good papers; getting As on them. Why mess with the system?
When I started teaching, the procrastination habit was the one I tried hardest to fight. I find it still catches up to me sometimes (*coughgradingpaperscough*) but I really thought that I was doing better with it and, in fact, I’ll admit to being a little proud of myself.
That’s why it was so disheartening to see my procrastination gene reassert itself with the National Boards. It’s like the second it was something just about me and just for me the old patterns kicked in. I felt horribly guilty about not getting more done earlier, but the truth is that I didn’t really “pedal to the metal” until about a month before the due date and most of my writing was done the weekend before. A lot of the major problems that I experienced would have been minor problems if it hadn’t been for the whole “ohmygod I have to tape this tomorrow there’s no time AIEEEEEEE!” thing.
It’s hard to let go of hope, but I would be willing to bet I won’t pass the portfolio part this go around (you can bank your scores and re-do individual parts of your portfolio for two more years). The National Boards has a first time candidate pass rate of a little under fifty percent. It’s hard for me to admit it (I will win! I will win!) but I bet I won’t be in that number.